September rarely brings much relief from summer heat, and the utility bills you receive each month reflect this. But if you’ve recently looked at your utility bills and thought the costs for electricity were higher than normal—and you can’t account for the increase—you may have an air conditioning system draining too much power.
Of course, you expect an increase in electrical bills in summer because this is when the air conditioner runs the most often. The compressor in an AC drains a large amount of electricity. You may, however, be spending more than necessary. When the bills turning alarming, we recommend you find out why.
We Can Help! Here Are the Top Reasons for Rising Cooling Costs
- Short-cycling AC: Short-cycling means the compressor of the air conditioner is turning on and off four or more times an hour, which is too brief to complete a cooling cycle. This drains excess power because the start-up cycle is when the air conditioner draws on the most electricity. Short-cycling can ruin an air conditioner, so consider these higher bills as a warning it’s time for repairs.
- Malfunctioning thermostat: The thermostat may be responsible for the AC running more than it should. The thermostat has a temperature sensor, and if it’s miscalibrated, it may cause the air conditioner compressor to stay on longer than necessary or turn on and off at times when it shouldn’t.
- Clogged HVAC filter: This is a common problem because people often forget to regularly put in a new filter during the summer. (Most HVAC systems need air filter changes every 1 to 3 months.) A clogged filter chokes airflow and forces the blower fan motor to overwork. Changing the filter should fix the problem. If it doesn’t, call for repairs.
- Grime along the coils: The indoor and outdoor coils of a split-system air conditioner—which is what you probably have—must remain clean to allow them to absorb heat from indoors and release it outdoors. Any layer of dust, dirt, mulch, and grime in general creates an insulation layer restricting heat exchange, subsequently making the AC less energy efficient. Let professionals take care of cleaning the coils.
- Dying air conditioner: How old is your AC? If it’s more than 15 years old, a rise in cooling costs is a major red flag that the cooling system is close to the end of its service life. You may try to continue with repairs, but at this point it’s tossing away money. We recommend talking to an HVAC professional to discuss system replacement options. Many new ACs have astonishing energy efficiency levels superior to anything on the market when you first purchased your air conditioner.
You’ve already found the Mt. Laurel, NJ, HVAC company to assist you with wrangling your cooling bills—or helping you with any other services you may need at the end of the summer. We’re a family-owned and operated company, and we succeed because we know how to treat families right.